Volume 8

~ News From "Your Birthing Family" ~

Issue 11





Our Charis Family

Mary Ann Stoltzfus

Hello Charis Friends,

I'm Mary Ann Stoltzfus and have been happily married to Ben, a wonderful man of God, for twenty-four years.  We are blessed with seven beautiful children, twins, Rachel and Rosa (23); Linda (21); Karen (20); Benjamin (18); Timothy, (17); and Joanna (14). Rosa (one of the twins) and her husband, Jon, have a beautiful baby, little Kellan.

I'm so happy to have been asked to give a little update on my "birthing journey" since I graduated from the Charis CE/Doula course!  I started training through Charis in the fall of 2009.  Throughout the course I thoroughly enjoyed all I learned while coaching with Kristin Schuchmann  and with Susan Oshel when Kristin was busy at births, but I also hit some bumps in the road! Self-doubt, finances were tight, busyness of life, and discouraging messages from other doulas in the area, saying, "this area doesn't see the importance of doulas."

Kristin would gently remind me of God's strong encouragement  as I re-read my journals along the way.  I did keep persevering and when I held that beautiful certificate in my hand, something inside of me changed!  I WAS NOT A QUITTER!  Kristin's words would often ring in my ears, "Mary Ann, everyone wants a good doula, maybe your area needs good ones."

Four years later after beginning my journey I have attended 30 births to date.  This year more than doubled last year!

I thoroughly enjoy serving my families and have been welcomed and embraced in our hospitals and birth centers.  Aromatherapy is one of my greatest assets, along with the rebozo. But, hot compresses are still the most sought after relaxation technique.

A big THANK YOU to Kristin and Susan (and my whole Charis family) for always believing in me!!

My friend's grandson, baby Daniel.
I was honored to be her doula.

I love wearing my grandson Kellan!
And double love that I was my daughter's doula, too.

Charis Cuisine

Coconut Cashew Butter Soup

Makes 2 servings.  Very tasty!  Great appetizer for your Thanksgiving feast. 


4 tablespoons coconut butter
4 tablespoons cashew butter
1 1/2 cup water
3 dates
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cucumber, sliced into noodles
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 medium onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
small bunch cilantro leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
red pepper flakes


In a blender, process the coconut butter, cashew butter (almond butter will work as well), water, dates, cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne, lime juice, salt and pepper.   Puree until as smooth as possible.

Cut or grate the cucumber into noodles and put in bowls with the avocado, celery, cilantro and cherry tomatoes.  Using a wire mesh strainer, strain the coconut and nut butter soup base.  This will take out any larger pieces of dates or spices.  A higher powered blender may make this step unnecessary.   Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

If you're not sure where to purchase your coconut and cashew butter,  Artisana provides quality butters.

calories: 537
fat: 44 gr
carbs: 33 gr
protein: 11 gr

Compliments of: Raw on $10 a day (or less)


 'Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth,
 Among  them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and The one who labors with child,  together,
 A great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.'
 Jeremiah 31:8, 14
2013 Charis Childbirth Services, All Rights Reserved
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November 2013